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Chez Panisse Cafe

4.5
3638 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Californian
Perfect For:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Neighborhood Gem

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About

Chez Panisse Caf�, located in Berkeley, California, offers a wide range of French cuisine in an upscale casual atmosphere. The caf� setting and fresh food provide a comfortable place for a date or dinner meeting. Chez Panisse Caf� has a full bar which mostly features an extensive wine selection.

Try the carrot and rutabaga soup to start out your meal at Chez Panisse Caf�. The menu changes often in order to provide the best that the market has to offer but choose from dinner options like the crispy rockfish with celery root puree or the autumn greens and ricotta ravioli.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Californian, Organic, Mediterranean
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:30pm
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Phone number
(510) 548-5049
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Alice Waters
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Private party facilities
Chez Panisse offers private party bookings in the downstairs dining room for up to 50 guests.
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Private party contact
Jennifer Sherman: (510) 548-5066
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Vine Street
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Public transit
Downtown Berkeley BART station 7 blocks from Chez Panisse
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Special events & promotions
Celebrate Bastille Day with garlic, wine, and live French music.
Special menu.
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 3638 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.5based on all time ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on July 11, 2016

The food and wine was excellent. Our service was outstanding!

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5.0Dined on July 9, 2016

We moved to SF from the east bay many years ago so don't get to CP as often as we used to. We did go for
dinner several months ago and were disappointed with a lackluster meal. But at the request of out of town guests we went back today for lunch and had the kind of meal that made this iconic place a longtime favorite. Every course we each had was fantastic....in creativity, presentation, and most of all flavor. Everything about our lunch was as good as it gets. Now we'll make a point of getting back there more often as few if any places in the City come close.

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5.0Dined on July 7, 2016

Thank you for our wonderful visit with my daughter and my best friend.

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5.0Dined on July 6, 2016

Every detail was as expected. Our reservation for 4 was 8:15pm; we arrived a few minutes early and were seated exactly on time. The meal de jour was a light bean & pasta and included nice greens and a very nice dessert.

The others in my party had fish, chicken, and steak entrees and all were pleased.

The service was above average.

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5.0Dined on July 6, 2016

Awesome from start to finish

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5.0Dined on July 6, 2016

Consistently excellent, innovative food and wonderful service! Delicious!

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5.0Dined on July 6, 2016

Magnificent lunch. My 14 year old son said it was the best lunch he has ever experienced. I took my father (80), daughter(10) and son to lunch on a Wednesday. Every dish was superb. Clean plates for every course a testament to that. The simple ingredients in every dish, so well thought out and unique but so fitting and delicious. It went above all of our expectations.
we will be back very soon!!! Fried sage leaves on the chicken to die for. Our waiter was so great, attentive but not overbearing and even brought me a to go box of some of the perfectly salted delicate sage leaves to share with my husband. AMAZING!!!

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5.0Dined on July 5, 2016

Second time! Wonderful experience! Lucky we were able to get reservation during our vacation. Will definitely try again next year.

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5.0Dined on July 2, 2016

Casual,yet sophisticated without any pretension!
Memorable afternoon!

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4.0Dined on July 1, 2016

Once again, and old friend delivers. This is I think the most consistently outstanding dining experience in the Bay Area. Good varied menu and excellent execution in a pleasant atmosphere.

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5.0Dined on July 1, 2016

Chez Panisse Cafe is consistently wonderful. The food is fantastic, the service outstanding.

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5.0Dined on June 30, 2016

As expected, the food and service were divine. No corners cut. The experience was worth the wait ... and the expense.

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5.0Dined on June 28, 2016

The service was highly attentive, the decor was simple yet elegant, and of course the food was superb!
The one drawback to our experience: at the table next to us, the couple's 8-year-old was drawing all over the (paper) tablecloth, which detracts greatly from the view and ambiance for others.

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3.0Dined on June 27, 2016

We've been going to Chez Panisse for years and it has always received 5 stars until this time. The service is still exemplary but the food missed the mark on a couple of items and it was particularly noisy. The curry soup was underseasoned and tepid. The meatballs were advertised as spicy but were far from and actually also lacked seasoning. The eggplant salad was excellent but there were very few actual eggplants. The pesto pasta was the highlight. We may be nitpicking but when you are Chez Panisse, this really missed the mark. We'll of course give it another try.

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5.0Dined on June 25, 2016

This was my first time at Chez Panisse. Both my husband and I were amazed by the food, the service was impeccable, and the wine selection perfect. Loved the craftsman look. The portions were good and the price acceptable. We will be returning.

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5.0Dined on June 25, 2016

Courteous,great food and one of the best waiters I have ever had.....

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5.0Dined on June 24, 2016

Met all expectations of excellence freshness of vegetables excellent , lovely service. Our first time for 3 of us. we were from southern California

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5.0Dined on June 23, 2016

Brought my adult children and their partners to celebrate wife's birthday. I have not been to Chez Panisse in 20 years, but their reputation is still great as witnessed by the difficulty in securing reservations. All of our dishes were special, perhaps the meatballs being the least so. The fish and the duck were terrific. I savored the veggies with a corn souffle. Everything here is about quality and simplicity and I appreciated that much more as I have gotten older. The wines were also outstanding. The service was first-class and attentive. All in all, we had a great dining experience.

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3.0Dined on June 23, 2016

The food was outstanding. The service did not match the food.

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4.0Dined on June 22, 2016

The place was lovely. The gentleman who greeted us was incredibly gracious and found us a perfect table. Then our server came and he quickly marred the entire experience. He was pretentious, arrogant, inattentive and generally unhelpful. The food was excellent and everyone else was lovely I just think he either needs a new line of work or it was a bad day.

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5.0Dined on June 22, 2016

Chez Panisse maintains its high level of cooking and service. I have never left this restaurant without feeling good.

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5.0Dined on June 22, 2016

Welcome - charming; ambience - congenial; service - efficient; food - fabulous; view of kitchen - fascinating; chez panisse is not to be missed.

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4.0Dined on June 22, 2016

The service was excellent. The meal was not as interesting as other lunches I have had there.

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5.0Dined on June 22, 2016

always a great experience eating at Chez Panisse. Took a friend who had never been there and of course the meal was a hit with her.

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5.0Dined on June 20, 2016

Always great food and service. The pork ragu was delicious. Berries with meringue refreshing.

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5.0Dined on June 18, 2016

we have never had a bad meal in over 30 yrs. ambience is great.

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2016

Whenever we are in the San Francisco bay area we always enjoy eating here. The food is so unique, healthy and outstanding with outstanding service, too.

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4.0Dined on June 16, 2016

Nice, but a bit pinched.

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5.0Dined on June 15, 2016

As stunning As we remember from the last time in 1977. Did not disappoint. Hope to return in another 39 years. Carry on the good work.

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5.0Dined on June 15, 2016

After several decades Chez Panisse is still the best.

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3.0Dined on June 14, 2016

Food and service not as great as we have had in the past. Fish was overcooked and the menu was uninspired. Nice atmosphere. Not in a hurry to go back. Too bad!

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2016

We were at Chez Panisse for my husband's birthday. It has been our favorite restaurant for over 20 years. And, the experience has always exceeded our expectations. The food is consistently delicious with an excellent wait staff. We usually go during the week for lunch and have never had a problem getting a reservation.

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3.0Dined on June 13, 2016

Steak night at Chez Panisse is always a treat.
The steak was delicious and the sides were tasty, too. The wine was lovely.

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2016

Chez Panisse continues to be a delightful and delicious experience. The food is always fabulous and the service is amazing.

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2016

Out of many meals in the past year at places at a similar level, my two favorites were Chez Panisse Cafe and Trattoria Corso. Every other meal, someone would have ordered differently in hindsight. At both of these meals, we could have played musical chairs and everyone would have been thrilled with their new dinner. That's hard.

This pairing makes a great case study in French versus Italian. Both meals realized amazing flavors. The Italian meal was passion over technique, or an advocate might claim the best Italian technique is transparent. The French meal featured impeccable technique. Ask how the salmon was cooked; I have considerable French training for a home cook, and I was surprised.

Chez Panisse Cafe is "supposed" to be good. I'm surprised that Trattoria Corso doesn't review higher, and is so easy to reserve. Likely this is reputation lag and a new cook?

Chez Panisse service is in its own league; many three star restaurants in France have less fun offering stiffer and less attentive service. Fear of Michelin?

Also rans nearly in the same league, but always with at least one dish one wouldn't order again: A16, Enoteca Molinari.

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2016

Wow! How does this place not have a Michelin star?

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4.0Dined on June 11, 2016

Great food. Extremely well prepared. Servers could be a bit more attentive.

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2.0Dined on June 11, 2016

The food was mediocre, actually. The service was very nice. All in all, another overpriced East Bay establishment.

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4.0Dined on June 10, 2016

Nothing negative about food or service,
Only one thing that is confusing is they automatically charge 17 % "Service Charge" on the bill. They states it is Not TIP.

What is "Service Charge"?
What "TIP' one should leave additionally?
Please help.

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3.0Dined on June 10, 2016

I've been going to Chez P. since the '70's and it has gone through noticeable changes. It is no longer a cutting-edge experience or even a great place for California cuisine. My friend and I ate at the Cafe, whose noise level is expected. Space between the tables worked well so we could hear each other. Our waitress was knowledgeable and helpful in finding my friend a wine she liked, and she loved her meal of salmon. Unfortunately my duck confit arrived too soon and was very over-salted (too much salty brine?) and the pommel frites were greasy and also too salty. While I realize I should have told the waitress, I didn't want to delay our meal and convey disappointment to my friend. The best part of the meal for both of us was the wonderful apricot tart. We weren't asked if we wanted coffee or tea. Overall, Chez P. is another good place to eat with spotty service/dishes that can be wonderful with a bit more attention.

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